Monday, November 2, 2015

Parents, Quit Mollycoptering

"Helicopter parents" have spawned a generation of incompetents, says Stanford’s former dean of freshmen Julie Lythcott-Haims and author of How to Raise an Adult.

She recently told the Los Angeles Times that a helicopter parent is incapable of raising a future worker, "Somebody who pitches in, who rolls up their sleeves and says, 'How can I be useful here,' instead of, 'Why isn't everyone applauding my every move?'"

Before powered flight, texting and nanny cams, our forebears had a term for helicopter parenting: mollycoddling.

Coddling in the 18th century meant to treat someone as if he or she were an invalid. The word derived from caudle, a drink served to the sick. Molly derived from an 18th century pejorative for a gay man.

A man who was considered timid was thought to have been raised by overprotective parents, or mollycoddled.

Thank goodness, invalids no longer have to drink gruel; or gay men, prove they're courageous.

But I like old words.

So I urge overprotective parents: You're jeopardizing America's competitiveness and your child's future income! Quit mollycoptering.
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